Saturday, 5 January 2013

'The Early Nineties Were Easier' - Band No.4 : Carter USM' by @KevTheHornet #TENWE

It has finally happened!!! We have our first official Session Blogger (bar me) to contribute a post to the blog!  *Takes deep breath* Sorry, it's just too much to take in.

Anyway, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to @KevTheHornet - we bonded a while back on twitter about early 90s music hence why I'm very pleased to have him here to write a post about his favourite band from that era.  Kev's blog can be found here - Not Just Another Blog II  He also runs a music blog over at Hornetmusic where he features great new / unsigned UK Indie bands.

Once you've read his post below I highly recommend you pop over there for a butchers and also follow him on @hornetmusic (as well as @KevTheHornet of course).

Anyway, that's enough from me, this isn't my blog post - over to you Kev...

So what’s this you ask?! Well my mate Simon (AKA Sessionblogger) contacted me to ask if I fancied contributing to his new series “TENWE” or The Early Nineties Were Easier – a nostalgic look back at some of the bands and music that carved our own love of music today.

Being a Nineties Indie kid, now a slightly older but still loving “indie” kid, how could I refuse?  The only dilemma I had was what music to feature – anyhow I have settled on one of the best 90s bands that in fact I stumbled across purely by chance…

In the late 80s /early 90s you could rent music CDs and casette tapes from my local library. It cost less than a quid a week to rent these, so it was perfect for me to get down to my local “Woolies” buy a pack of ten 90 minute TDK casette tapes and copy the music I borrowed. Kind of an early day Piratebay, i suppose, but it was a cheap and easy way for us poor student types to obtain great music for a small price. I would visit the library each week and stock up on the latest music I was into, and more often than not decided to borrow other tapes and CDs just coz the band or artist were on the same record label as ones I already knew and loved – or in this case, just ’cause the cover looked “cool!

…And there began my love of Carter USM!

From the first strains of “You Fat Bastard” on “Surfin USM” I was hooked!  In fact my parents grew sick of hearing that album as I played it over and over again.  It still remains one of my all time favourite albums,  there are no stand out tracks its just a great album from start to finish.

But, if I had to chose one to highlight what a great album this is (for those who dont already know) it would have to be this one – “A Prince in a Pauper's Grave”  …blinding!

I was amazed to find the above video on Youtube because Carter USM were also the first ever “proper” live gig I went to… and my first ever trip to the fabulous (or it seemed it back then!) Brixton Academy.  The date was 9th November 1991 – 6 days after my sixteen birthday – an age when my parents finally agreed I was old enough to go to a gig without them!  I remember it well -Carter were supported by The Inspiral Carpets - another of those highly underrated nineties indie bands.  It has to go down as one of the best gigs I have been to, simply because they were two of my favourite bands of the time, I was allowed there with my mates – and we managed to pursuade the bar staff we were old enough to buy beers!  I even managed to get a bootleg copy of the concert on cassette tape a few weeks later! The above video is actually from the gig I went to and brings back some great memories!

And so my love of Carter USM was born.  Of course, I went back to the library and “borrowed” Carters first album “101 Damnations”, but when “1992 The Love Album” was released I actually went to Record House in Thame (Oxon) and purchased it!  Another fantastic album added to collection, and if you want some final proof have a listen to Jimbob's version of “The Impossible Dream” sung live on TOTP in their bid for Xmas Number one – they didnt make it!, but the song is great anyway, and a great way to sign off this blog post.

Thanks for your brilliant contribution Kev, Carter were a unique band who I sorely miss, although they are still touring so if anyone reading this never did get to see them live, check them out. 

Kev, you can now add that you are officially a 'Session Blogger' to your CV - it will open up numerous opportunities I'm sure (or more than likely close them, give it a go and let me know).  We hope you'll come back soon and write another post for us.

Anyway, I've added 'A Prince in a Pauper's Grave' to the Spotify playlist here - The Early Nineties Were Easier #TENWE

If anyone reading this was / still is a fan of early 90s music then we'd love you to write a post for Session Bloggers as well - please comment below or tweet me @sessionblogger - the playlist is only 4 songs long at the moment, we need more!!!

Thanks for stopping by.

Lots of love

Simon S.


  1. Rubbish, Sheriff Fatman! ;)

    A Carter gig was 1 of my 1st dates with my now wife: it was wild!I didn't bother going back for my T-shirt. I've been playing Straw Donkey...The Singles a lot lately - great band!

    1. Ha ha! I'm afraid you'll have to speak to Kev about that, personally I would've said 'Bloodsport for all'.

      Great story about you and your wife, there was certainly a lot of love at gigs in those days, even if you did lose your T-shirt in the moshpit!

      Thanks for the comment, fella, fancy writing about your favourite band of the time? Would love to have you on board.

    2. Sure, why not? I'm a bit lacking in inspiration, going though a tough time here, but I'll see what I can do. Thanks for the invitation.

    3. Good man. Hope all okay. Will DM you on twitter.